Township weighs options on traffic backups on Pa. 16

August 30, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The Antrim Township Board of Supervisors heard recommendations Tuesday about how to reduce traffic congestion at the intersection of Pa. 16 and exit 5 of Interstate 81.

The supervisors initially approved the proposed study by Grove Miller Traffic Engineering Inc. of Harrisburg, Pa., on May 8 at a cost of $21,300.

Township Manager Ben Thomas said the problem of traffic stacking at the intersection during morning and evening rush hours is the main reason for the study.

"People tend to drive to and from work at the same hour intervals Monday through Friday," Thomas said. "Traffic volumes peak and reduce typically from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and afternoons being longer with shift changes, typically from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m."


Additional traffic backups occur because the intersection has two traffic signals in close proximity, is a major intersection off of I-81 and serves several businesses, including a truck service plaza.

The letter from Grove Miller Engineering provided a complete review of the intersection with three recommendations to reduce traffic congestion.

· The first recommendation from the engineering company is to put in a loop detection system, which is a detector of pressure on the road, connected to both lights at intersection.

"It would shorten the green time on Pa. 16 to allow more traffic to exit (the) I-81 northbound off ramp," Thomas said.

· The second recommendation was to make John Wayne Drive, which runs parallel to I-81, a one-way road to the south. Traffic would proceed to Grindstone Hill Road to re-enter Pa. 16.

· The third recommendation was to widen all lanes on Pa. 16 at a cost estimated by Thomas to be $500,000.

Thomas' estimate of the first two options combined was $15,000.

Although the third option is not likely to be approved by the board, with Thomas calling it "cost prohibitive," he said it is unclear at this time when the board will make a decision based on the recommendations.

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